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UVic Co-op Program celebrates 60,000 work term placements and counting

Thirty-five years after launching one of Canada’s largest co-operative education programs, the University of Victoria is celebrating its 60,000th co-op placement.

Biochemistry student Britney Allen became the 60,000th co-op student to secure a co-op work term when she was hired by Science Venture to work as a science/technology camp instructor this summer.

“Britney is one of more than 20,000 students who have pursued a co-op degree at UVic,” says Norah McRae, executive director of UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services. “Since 1976, co-op students have completed 15,000 years of work and have earned $600,000,000.”

“Co-op plays a major role here on campus and in our communities—by alternating their academic studies with paid work terms related to their area of study, co-op students put their learning in motion, gain valuable hands-on experience and contribute to the economy, while employers benefit from short-term assistance and often use co-op as a recruitment tool.”

One in four UVic students participate in co-op and more than 2,600 placements are completed each year. In 2010, 1163 different employers hired UVic co-op students in 2010 and 48% hired more than one student. Seventy-four per cent of placements were made in BC, while 19% were made across the rest of Canada and 6.8% were made internationally. Placements were generally balanced between the private and public sector.

UVic’s Co-op Program was established in 1976 in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics. The program secured 58 placements in its first year; today it includes 13 co-op offices that provide opportunities for students in 47 academic areas. The program is indebted to Graham Branton, its longest-service director who dedicated 17 years to the development of UVic Co-op.

Contact/Organizer name: Joy Poliquin

Contact/Organizer e-mail: poliquin@uvic.ca

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